What To Learn From The Recent Drop In Road Deaths

Posted by at 18 January 2018, at 12 : 43 PM

What To Learn From The Recent Drop In Road Deaths

For the first time since 2014, we’ve seen a decrease in the number of road deaths. 2016 was the second year in a row that we saw an increase in fatal collisions on the road, even leading to a 9-year high. However, while the data from 2017 is still going to take some time to fully collate, indications are that 2017 was a safer year on the road, overall. So, looking to 2018, have we learned anything and is our tech finally starting to make our roads safer?

Holding drivers responsible is easier than ever

If you’re a safe driver, then you may very well find yourself frustrated every time you hear about a collision, injury, or death on the road. You might see some reckless and dangerous driving on the road, but the steps it takes to actually report it can take so long you might be less inclined to whistle blow when you can. But now there are plenty of ways to report dangerous driving much more easily without having to put yourself in harm’s way. With the release and growing popularity of apps like Nexar and the Bad Driver Database, people are not only reporting dangerous drivers so that they can be monitored, but they’re sharing their experiences on the road to help one another be safer when they encounter one of these drivers.

We’re learning the truth about hands-free

It’s been a concern for at least five years now that hands-free smartphone use might not be the solution to distracted driving that we all hoped it was. Unfortunately, it looks as though the data is starting to prove the reality of that, as well. Click here to see the results of a recent study from the Queensland University of Technology which lends credence to the idea that hands-free phone use can be just as distracting as holding a phone up to your ear. After all, you’re still very much taking your mind off the road, decreasing your chances of reacting appropriately to changes, which has made cell phone use a leading cause of road deaths, with 39% of them happening to people in between the ages of 20 and 29.

What To Learn From The Recent Drop In Road Deaths

Cars are still the biggest weather risk

It’s a dramatic way to make a point, but The Weather Channel’s look at the fact that accidents on the road related to poor weather are more fatal than tornadoes, hurricanes and floods is a stark reminder. It’s a reminder that driving in adverse conditions is still incredibly dangerous. 22% of all road accidents from 2005-2014 were directly attributable to poor weather. Wet roads are the leading cause of weather-related accidents, with rain, snow, and sleet falling not too far behind.

Speeding is still a huge issue

It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that we’re still dealing with a few too many speeders on the road, leading to one-third of all traffic accidents. The risk increases depending on how high the legal driving speed is on the road in question, as well. As they usually involve more witnesses and evidence thanks to the rising trend of dashcams, accidents involving speeding are some of the easiest to find responsibility in and you can click here to see how exactly to do that. But to curb your own speeding impulses, it’s important to plan journeys in advance as much as possible. Leaving even five-to-ten minutes earlier than usual increases your chances of sticking to the legal speed limit by a significant degree.

What To Learn From The Recent Drop In Road Deaths

Avoiding drink driving is easier than ever

When we’re thinking with cold, sober judgement, the vast majority of us can see quite how reckless it is to even think about drink driving. Regardless of safe legal limits, we’re becoming more informed that even one drink is enough to drastically impair our reaction times and our judgement on the road. However, when we’ve had a drink or two and we have no other options, that’s when we’re vulnerable to considering it. However, it’s becoming easier to avoid that situation. Apps like Uber and Lyft make it a lot easier to get a lift no matter where we are or what time it is. Just make sure you leave home with your phone fully charged or carry a portable charger in your pocket for those emergency situations.

When we see red, we ignore red lights

Red light violations are another leading cause of traffic collisions. It should be no surprise that the times when these collisions seem to pick up is when we’re all rushing to get home. The late-afternoon, on Fridays, and especially on evenings. The working day contributes to red light violations, particularly because we are more stressed and more inclined to bouts of road rage. To avoid making these violations in the heat of the moment, combat stress before you get on the road. There are some potential tech trends like augmented reality that might take steps to combat road rage, too, by actually displaying the status of the driver in the car, letting others know whether they’re rushing to the hospital or driving to the airport.

What To Learn From The Recent Drop In Road Deaths

The right features are becoming more common

It’s important to avoid being lulled into a false sense of security by the increasing regularity with which safety technology features are being implemented into cars. Cars have been getting safer every year, in general, but that hasn’t stopped accidents and road deaths from spiking as of late. However, it is important to be aware of the latest and future trends in safety tech and to see the verdict on which actually tend to help. For instance, dashcams have gained a lot of prominence recently and they’ve been shown not only to help with legal cases involving road accidents, but they also force drivers to take more care since they know there are a lot more eyes on them.

It’s hard to tell whether the slight dip in fatal collisions in 2017 will continue to lead to safer roads. Safety technology is getting better, but we have to get better as drivers, as well. Education is as important as innovation, so make sure you keep the above in mind when you’re behind the wheel.

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